The Vancouver Black Library, a project that began in February 2022, is well underway and continues to expand upon its goals and mandate.
Founders Maya Preyshon and Simon Grefiel came up with the idea to bring together the fractured Black community in Vancouver. At the Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, there is a library connected to the gallery that inspired them to create a space that showcases Black literature and writing while also providing somewhere to gather and interact.
So far the VBL has raised over $35,000 of their $60,000 goal and released the renderings of the space that is currently under construction.
In a recent post to Instagram, VBL has requested volunteers to assist with cataloguing, tagging, and shelving books, drivers and trucks to help with transporting books and building materials, and construction labour. They are also looking for grant writers.
Black history will be a large part of the literature and resources at VBL but the founders are clear that the trauma and hurt in the community will not be the foundation of the project. Instead, this is a space born out of Black joy and optimism.
Volunteers can fill out an intake form so that the VBL can get a sense of the skills their volunteer community has and then people will be added to a discord server or contacted directly about opportunities and cataloguing parties that will be taking place in the near future.
With files from Brendan Kergin